Thursday, June 14, 2018

Help On the Way

‘Resist’ is too passive.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

The political primaries so far this year suggest big changes could be coming.  There's more progress in inclusiveness, even to the extent of including First Americans--in the nomination of the candidate who could become the first Native American woman in Congress.

A general trend for more nominated women candidates, especially among Democrats, is even more conspicuous in several states, most recently Virginia, where women candidates for the House are now the majority of nominees.

Among the women joining the trend are Obama alums, some of whom are coming out of retirement to run.  The Politico piece begins:

So many Obama administration alumni are running for office this year that the former president’s staff has lost count, but it is keeping close tabs on whether they’re winning their primaries—and nearly all are, everywhere around the country.

Jenny Durkan, who ran for Seattle mayor and won, is one example.  And it isn't just that the Obama administration found and nurtured highly talented and committed people, who thought they might rest awhile during the Hillary administration but have since been motivated by the antipresident to run for office.

It's that when they identify themselves as Obama people that voters flock to them.

Lauren Baer, a former State Department aide who is running for a U.S. House seat in Florida, said she’s found voters are “incredibly nostalgic for the Obama era now.” “To the extent that people know about and hear about my ties to the administration, that reminds them of a time when the government didn’t always get everything right, but tried its hardest to work in the best interest of all Americans.”

These candidates also have the Obama alum network of political expertise and fundraising connections to call on.  For them, and the candidates new to politics, and especially women and candidates of color, everything will depend on turning out voters who didn't vote last time.  If they strike a spark, help could be on the way.

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